Water hammers are a common plumbing problem that consist of a loud banging sound coming out of your pipes after you flush the toilet, turn on a tap or otherwise use any water in your home. These sounds are more than a simple annoyance: they represent water slamming into a curve in your pipes, which can cause structural damage and make a leak and resulting water damage much more likely. Fortunately, there is a simple method that you can use to eliminate water hammers in a matter of minutes and get your plumbing flowing properly again in no time.
What Causes Water Hammers?
Water hammers are usually caused in residential settings when the air chambers within your plumbing system are filled with water. These chambers are designed to cushion the flow of water as it moves through your plumbing, acting as a sort of shock absorber.
This means that in order to eliminate water hammers, you'll have to drain the water out of these air chambers to allow for air to refill them.
Eliminating Water Hammers
First, turn the water supply to your home off. This is a valve located next to the water main connection of your home, usually in the basement, which can be turned off by turning it to the right.
Go to the highest water fixture in your home and turn on the cold water faucet or shower. Move your way down, turning on additional faucets and flushing toilets as you go. Leave the faucets and shower heads on.
Once all of the faucets, taps and other fixtures are open and draining, wait until all of the water has stopped flowing out of them. Once this has happened, you have successfully drained all of the water out of your plumbing system and allowed air to flow through again, where it will fill the air chambers up again.
Next, turn the water supply back on for your home (turning to the left this time) – and wait until water is flowing normally out of all of the faucets in your home again. Then, turn them off, starting at the bottom this time and working your way up.
Your water hammers should have disappeared by this point. If you still notice loud noises when you turn on a tap or flush a toilet, the issue could lie with a loose connection holding your pipes in place or some other structural issue with your plumbing, which will require a professional plumbing repair inspection to locate and repair.